Thanks to volunteer role at Plym Valley Railway, Matt is on the right track

Matt, who uses Shared Lives South West services, is a volunteer at Plym Valley Railway

There is no doubt Matt has found his calling in life since starting as a volunteer at Plym Valley Railway.
Matt was helped by his Shared Lives South West carer Teresa Walker to find the position, which he started in the Summer.
“I’ve never been happier,” said Matt.
“I work there two days a week and I can do more if I want to. Teresa called the railway and we had a meeting and it was arranged for me to start.”


On site, having completed health and safety training and passing his first aid, he helps with various aspects of the railway.
When we arrive he’s helping to mount a cement mixer and is part of a team of volunteers building a new platform and talks with knowledge about the track, history and heritage of the railway in the city.
“I do all sorts. I help repair the track, help strip down old coaches and go in the work shed where the train parts are repaired,” said Matt.
“I’ve also been involved with decorating our Christmas train and getting it ready.
“I really feel part of a team here and I love it, I’ve been made to feel welcome.
“I’ve also had to clear trees that have come down with the bad weather and we can work in all weathers, but it keeps me fit.”

Remember Dad

Matt is proud to be following in his late father’s footsteps.
“My Dad worked on the railways and drove trains,” he said.
“As a child I used to sit and watch trains whenever I could.
“Dad died two years ago and it’s a shame he didn’t see me working here.”
Ideally Matt would like to work for GWR or Network Rail in the future and get more paid work.
“I’d obviously like to earn more money. I work one day a week, but could do with a paid job,” he said.
“Teresa is helping me with that now and we’ve contacted Plymouth station, working there would be my dream job.”
Matt has lived with Teresa for ten years and also lives with his partner Kerry, who also uses SLSW services. Roma has also lived with Teresa’s family for 30 years and also uses SLSW services.
“We all get on like one big family,” said Matt.
“Teresa supports me and Kerry to do the things we like. We enjoy trips away and holidays and she helps us book tickets and hotels. Teresa has been there and taught me how to catch a train on my own and I now have apps to help me track the trains and buses.
“We like going on holiday to Paignton and seeing the air show and going to Silverstone to watch Formula One and Teresa sorts that for us. She really is great.”

See more good news at SLSW here.

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